Guest blog by Erin Calabritto, marketing coordinator and destination wedding planner at Just Marry!, founded by Perfect Wedding Guide’s ‘National Wedding Expert’, Susan Southerland.
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of touring El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico to learn all about their destination wedding offerings. We have already shared some of their fabulous ideas here on the wedding blog, but I wanted to put the pieces of the puzzle together and walk you through my stay from start to finish. If you’re planning (or dreaming about) your own destination wedding, I think you’ll appreciate this journey through the entire experience! You can find Part II and Part III of this series here.
After a busy morning of travel to Puerto Rico, I arrived at El Conquistador Resort (traveled by private car, but they also offer a more economical motor coach transfer from the airport) and was immediately blown away by the spectacular entrance– a short drive through the rolling hills and swaying palms of the golf course, set against a mountain range on the horizon. After a warm welcome by my tour guide and hostess, Lydia Feliciano, and a speedy check-in, I was escorted to my room, where I was treated to my first glimpse of the resort’s stunning ocean view.
Our hostess had kindly arranged for a light lunch to be waiting for me in my room, along with an adorable “bride” cookie from the resort’s pastry chef (read more about their unique wedding dessert ideas). This is a great way to welcome your guests who have been traveling all day– one that I would have never thought of on my own! The personal note was a thoughtful touch, too. It’s an easy way for you to show your guests hospitality from the moment they arrive.
My ocean view room, with a king bed, was beautifully decorated and comfortably appointed. It was modern and breezy, yet cozy, with a very soft bed, versatile sofa with chaise lounge, spacious desk, and the all-important patio set for soaking up the gorgeous scenery.
This part will probably only thrill the ladies– check out the bathroom (hello, counter space!) and walk-in closet (hello, fluffy robe and slippers!). Plenty of “getting ready” room is important for wedding guests, and a sizable closet for unpacking and organizing your wardrobe and accessories doesn’t hurt either!
Here’s a quick peek from the balcony, looking out towards the resort’s private island, Palomino (pictured). Even the private island has its own private island, called Palominito (not pictured); I’ll be sure to share more details later– it involves Johnny Depp, so you may want to stay tuned…
Hopping back indoors, I was absolutely delighted to find a “welcome bag”, filled with some goodies that I found very useful on my trip. Your destination wedding guests will appreciate a selection of thoughtful items, and this can be done on almost any budget! Check out our past blog post on wedding welcome bag ideas for details and inspiration.
Once I was settled in to my own room, my afternoon continued with a tour of some other accommodations at the resort– Las Casitas Village, which is described on their website as “an enclave of private villas that enjoy sweeping ocean views, fully equipped kitchens, and 24-hour butler service.”
This is an excellent alternative to the more standard hotel stay, and particularly attractive if you have families with children joining you at your destination wedding who may feel more comfortable with some extra elbow room.
It would also be great as a “honeymoon getaway” on property, in case any of your guests are staying after the wedding day, to provide some distance and privacy between the newlyweds and your friends and family. Trust me, you want to think about these things when you’re planning a destination wedding!
Here’s one last area of interest for today’s blog– now that you’ve seen where you can stay, it’s time to check out where you can play! Below is the gorgeous infinity pool at Las Casitas Village and the main pool at El Conquistador Resort, followed by some snapshots of our tour around the pool decks (it was almost too tempting to walk by without laying out or jumping in… somehow I managed to remain professional).
That’s all for today, be sure to check back throughout the week for more fun in the Puerto Rican sun! Still to come this week:
- A visit to the Golden Door Spa (every bride needs some pampering) and other activities on site
- A hike through El Yunque National [Rain] Forest, an unforgettable adventure for your guests
- A chance to check out the resort’s other amenities like Coqui Water Park as well as the private island of Palomino
- Wedding ceremony and reception information (including a special offer for destination weddings at El Conquistador Resort)
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